Asia Philippines

EL NIDO Island Hopping Tours

“The main reason for going to El Nido is island hopping.” I read that statement somewhere when I was planning our trip and I did not really understand it until I got there. Unlike Boracay where you go for the powdery white sand that extends a long way along its shoreline, the beach at the mainland of El Nido is not that exciting. An early morning photo of the beach of El Nido shows outrigger boats lining the shores getting ready for the throng of tourists on their way. The town of El Nido sits in a sheltered bay with a pier at one end along a crescent beach, and is flanked by famous limestone cliffs.

The crescent shaped beach

The ordinariness of the town is such a contrast to the islands around it. The islands are breathtaking, majestic and awe-inspiring. You have to be there to fully appreciate what I am saying. But in case you are still planning to go, let me walk you through the available tours.
Tours are categorized as A, B, C, & D. The prices of the tours are the same wherever you book as the government has standardized the rates. You also need to pay an Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF) of Php200/person before you do any tours and this ETDF is valid for 10 days. Tours starts in the morning and finishes in the afternoon.
Tour A (Lagoons and Beaches) – Php 1,200/person
Tour B (Caves and Coves) – Php 1,300/person
Tour C (Hidden Beaches and Shrines) – Php 1,400/person
Tour D (Island Beaches) – Php 1,200/person
Tour map of El Nido

A typical outrigger boat usually carries 10-15 persons but I did see a few bigger boats that have 20-30 capacity. I also saw smaller boats that cater to 2-4 but I don’t recommend using these boats when the seas are rough. I asked the skilled navigator of our boat and he said that April and May are the months where the seas in El Nido are well-behaved as the naughty waves are also on a summer holiday elsewhere. Except for these two months, most of the time the seas are rough in El Nido.  The boat that we used was just right with about 14 passengers and 3 people serving as boat crew.
If you don’t have time to do all the tours, I suggest doing Tour A and C.
When I was doing my reading about El Nido I came across the word ‘karst’, I had to look it up and according to “Auntie Wikipedia”, karst is an English word borrowed from German word Karst which is a term derived from the German name for Kras region which is a limestone plateau that surrounds a city. The English word refers to a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone.
Islands around El Nido predominantly have this jagged look that are in different sizes and forms

A closer look at that topographic limestone formation

Before I go, let me leave you with another photo of the towering limestone karst cliffs that surrounds the town of El Nido.
El Nido

You can check other El Nido posts here:
Are we there yet? – Bus trip from Puerto Prinsesa to El Nido
EL NIDO Island hopping toursyou are here
EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR A – Lagoons and Beaches
EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR C – Hidden Beaches and Shrines
INLAND EL NIDO: Motorcycle ride and secluded beaches
EL NIDO – Where we stayed
EL NIDO – helpful things to know
Text and Photos by Alicia Davis

2 thoughts on “EL NIDO Island Hopping Tours”

  1. Pingback: EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR A - Lagoons and Beaches
  2. Pingback: INLAND EL NIDO: Motorcycle ride and secluded beaches | Steps on Air

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